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2013 Seminars

Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching
July 8 - 19, 2013

Directed by: Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Calvin College

Co-hosted by: W. Hulitt Gloer, Baylor University

Funds provided by the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary

Seminar Description

People often assume that preachers who read widely are on the prowl for illustrations. These people are right. Preachers are hunter-gatherers: they search not only the world’s literary masterworks, but also contemporary middle-brow fiction, crime journalism, and biography, hoping to dig up fresh and angular illustrations. But preachers are not merely in search of useful stories. Reading deepens the preacher’s knowledge of human cries of the heart—for example that we reap what we sow. In fact, the preacher’s reading deepens preaching because it deepens the preacher. The preacher who presumes to speak for God, or even for the church, has to struggle every day to understand human character, divine grace, and the surprises that gather at their intersection. To do so faithfully, most preachers will need the kind of vicarious experience that arises from immersion in well-chosen literature. Accordingly, this seminar will explore some of the sources, methods, and homiletical impact of imaginative reading for creative preaching.

About the Director

PlantingaCornelius Plantinga, Jr. is Senior Research Fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and has served as a pastor in Webster, NY. His Ph.D. is from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has been a professor of theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, its president for ten years, and the Dean of the Chapel at Calvin College. He has published many essays, sermons and books. This is his tenth consecutive year directing the seminar "Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching."


About the Co-Host

William Hulitt Gloer, Ph.D. is Professor of Preaching and Christian Scripture at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Visiting Professor of Law, Baylor Law School. He has been a pastor in Corpus Christi, TX and a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His Ph.D. is from Southern Baptist University. He is author or editor of many essays and books and has co-hosted this seminar since 2004.

Application Information

Applicant Information, including who may apply and how to apply, can be found here.

The application deadline was February 22, 2013. We are no longer accepting applications.



Seminars @ Calvin
Calvin College
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Grand Rapids MI 49546-4402
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